25 May 2017
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PRESS RELEASES AND NEWS

17.02.2017

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s comment and answers to media questions following talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Bonn, February 16, 2017

We have held a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. It was a pragmatic and business-like meeting, which I would describe as productive in that we compared our views on prospects for working together in the areas which our presidents discussed in principle during their telephone conversation on January 28. We reaffirmed the existence of similar or identical interests, primarily with regard to the irreconcilable struggle against terrorism in the context of our cooperation within the political settlement in Syria and other countries where terrorism has taken root. We also discussed the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine. Our American partners have expressed interest in joining the efforts that are being taken to settle these conflicts.

We expressed our willingness to develop contact as soon as the teams working on this issue at the US Department of State and other US departments take shape. It is obvious that we could not resolve all of the problems. I believe it is impossible to settle absolutely every problem in relations between large powers such as Russia and the United States. But we share the belief that we must move forward in the numerous areas where we have similar interests and we must demonstrate the ability of Russia and the United States to play the roles they are destined to play due to their positions in the world.

We discussed bilateral relations, which were seriously damaged by the Obama administration, especially in the last months of its term. Mr Tillerson reaffirmed the resolve, expressed by US President Donald Trump in his conversation with President of Russia Vladimir Putin, to overcome the legacy of the past and to remove obstacles to rebuilding relations, although there will always be issues that need to be discussed and coordinated. All the differences cannot be settled in one meeting, of course.

We have agreed to maintain contact. There will be several opportunities for this in the coming months. We will act on the assumption that President Putin and President Trump will meet when they think it appropriate.

Question: Did you discuss the sanctions?

Sergey Lavrov: No, we didn’t. We believe that this is an abnormal situation, and that those who initiated the sanctions [against Russia] should analyse their effectiveness, whether sanctions can be part of normal relations between states, and whether the artificial desire to politicise certain issues meets the interests of the states that apply sanctions.

Question: Did Secretary of State Tillerson express his opinion about the Astana talks?

Sergey Lavrov: Yes, he said he was willing to support this process. As you know, US Ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol attended the January meeting in Astana as an observer, and he is also attending today’s meeting. An invitation to the meeting was sent to the United States. Washington has decided that, during the initial period of the new US administration and the State Department section on the Syrian settlement, the country will be represented by the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan, who attended the Astana meetings in January and today, as I said.

Question: What is your first impression of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in his new capacity?

Sergey Lavrov: I have not met Mr Tillerson before. As I said, we had a productive, pragmatic, open and, in my opinion, useful meeting.




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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Infantino, we are glad that you have a positive view of Russia’s efforts to prepare for the FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup.


23.05.2017 - Condolences to British Prime Minister Theresa May

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23.05.2017 - Press release on the arbitral tribunal on the law of the sea (claim of Ukraine against the Russian Federation)

On 12 May the arbitral tribunal established under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the request of Ukraine claiming violation by the Russian Federation of this Convention held its first meeting. The arbitral tribunal presided by Judge Jin-Hyun Paik (Republic of Korea) considered, with the participation of representatives of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the principal procedural documents that will govern the work of the tribunal.


22.05.2017 - Press release on a meeting of the Russian-Palestinian Working Committee on the Middle East

On May 20, a meeting of the Russian-Palestinian Working Committee on the Middle East was held at the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Russian party was represented by Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov (co-chairman of the committee) and Sergey Vershinin, the Russian Foreign Minister’s Special Representative for Middle East Settlement and Director of the Ministry’s Middle East and North Africa Department. The Palestinians were represented by Nabil Shaath, the Palestinian President’s advisor on Foreign Affairs and International Relations and a member of the PLO Central Council (co-chairman of the committee), and Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal.


19.05.2017 - Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov’s meeting with a delegation of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee

On May 18, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov held a meeting with a delegation of the Syrian High Negotiations Committee (Riyadh Group). There was an exchange of views on the progress and prospects of the inter-Syrian talks under UN auspices, in particular, in the context of the latest proposals by the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura.


19.05.2017 - Press release on the Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department meeting with NGO delegates and researchers

On May 18, senior officials from the Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department held an annual meeting with delegates from the concerned Russian NGOs and the research and expert communities. They exchanged opinions on a wide range of current international security and strategic stability issues.


18.05.2017 - Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to media questions at a news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides, Nicosia, May 18, 2017

We have held very useful talks. Cyprus is our reliable and time-tested partner in Europe. Our ties are based on sincere feelings of friendship and the sympathies of our peoples, on their spiritual and cultural affinity.


18.05.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s participation in the 127th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe

On May 18−20, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in the 127th Session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in Nicosia, which concludes Cyprus’ six-month chairmanship of the Council’s Committee of Ministers (CECM). The main theme of the upcoming ministerial session is Reinforcing Democratic Security in Europe.


16.05.2017 - Comment by the Information and Press Department on the latest application of the so-called “Law on Occupied Territories” in Georgia

We took note of the announcement by Georgian authorities that former Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov would be added to the list of “persona non-grata” due to his past visits to the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia. As we can see, official Tbilisi continues its systematic provocations, undermining the process of improving relations with Russia. It is difficult to provide rational explanations for this behaviour, because Russia-Georgia normalisation brings with it tangible benefits for the economy and citizens of Georgia.


15.05.2017 - Excerpts from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's interview with Channel One’s Vremya weekly news and analysis programme, Beijing, May 14, 2017

Question: The meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson only lasted forty minutes, compared to the Moscow meeting which was took one hour longer. Nevertheless, it seems that you had enough time to achieve the needed results. Specifically, you said that you talked about Syria at length, and the Americans were people of action. Could you be more specific about the action you were referring to here? Could you share some details about this meeting? Sergey Lavrov: Firstly, Rex Tillerson’s visit to Moscow was important because of the mere fact that it provided an opportunity for the first face-to-face meeting at foreign minister level and a meeting took place with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Since this was the first contact of this kind, we spent quite a lot of time going through all the subjects on the agenda related to bilateral ties and international and regional issues. The visit to Washington was a follow-up to the conversation already started in Moscow. Rex Tillerson and I had a meeting that lasted about two hours, and a little less than an hour in the White House, where we talked at length with US President Donald Trump about Syria (as I have already said at the press conference in Washington), primarily focusing on the groundwork that was laid last year, and further efforts along these lines by the new administration.



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